Employees and Staff: Thomas Cross

Tom Cross is variously identified as a furnace man and a doorkeeper at the White House. White House records on the Lincoln’s staff are often confusing. In late June 1864, President Lincoln telegraphed his wife:: “All well. Tom is moving things out.”1 Presumably, Mr. Lincoln was referring to Tom Cross, not Tom Stackpole, a security guard – who was moving the Lincoln family belongings out to the Soldiers Cottage. In September 1864, Lincoln wrote Provost Marshal General James B. Fry to get Cross excused from the military draft in Washington, D.C. Fry replied that ‘that the Provost Marshall of the District, has this day been instructed to excuse him from reporting for such time, as he remains in your Excellency’s service.”2

When widow Mary Todd Lincoln finally moved back to Chicago after her husband’s assassination, Tom Cross and security guard William Crook accompanied her. Mrs. Lincoln wrote former Senator Orville H. Browning in 1866: “The bearer of this note to you, Thomas Cross, who was a faithful serving man, at the Executive Mansion, during our stay there, desires me to address you a line and request a favor – which is this. That you will assign him some employment, he has been out of service since July last, he is an honest, industrious man and was always highly esteemed by my beloved husband.”3


  1. CWAL, Volume VII, p. 417 (Letter from Abraham Lincoln to Mary Todd Lincoln, June 29. 1864).
  2. Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress. Transcribed and Annotated by the Lincoln Studies Center, Knox College. Galesburg, Illinois (Letter from James B. Fry to Abraham Lincoln, September 24, 1864).
  3. Justin G. Turner and Linda Levitt Turner, editors, Mary Todd Lincoln: Her Life and Letters, p. 397 (Letter from Mary Todd Lincoln to Orville H. Browning, December 3,1866).


William Crook